Five easy dinner recipes for working moms

 Five easy dinner recipes for working moms

By Alisha Moopen

Deputy Managing Director

Aster DM Healthcare

Only a working ‘Mom’ can share the feeling of having to provide delicious meals and ensure that her family gets all the right nutrition while managing home and work. Below are a few of my select recipes that can help you serve tasty meals on busy weeknights.

Grilled Chicken Breasts in Spiced Yogurt


  • 2 1/4 cups plain yogurt (18 oz; preferably whole-milk)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb total)
  • 1 cup small fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots


  1. In a big bowl, add 1 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and the spices, and whisk them together. Add chicken to the margination and flip on both sides so that it is coated well. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare grill for cooking while the chicken marinates. If you are using a charcoal grill, open the bottom vents of the grill, then light charcoal. Heat the grill till charcoal fire is medium-hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds). If you are using a gas grill, cover and preheat the burners on high for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to moderate.
  3. While grill is heating, whisk together remaining 1 1/4 cups yogurt and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and salt to taste.
  4. Grease the grill rack lightly with oil. Take chicken out of the margination and place on the grill. Cover the grill only if you are using a gas grill. Turn the chicken over occasionally, until just cooked through for approximately 10 to 12 minutes in total. Transfer chicken to a platter.
  5. Toss mint leaves, shallots, and remaining tablespoon of oil in a small bowl. Drizzle chicken with yogurt sauce and top with mint salad.

Chefs’ Note

If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, chicken can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled, well-seasoned large ridged grill pan over moderate heat.

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Thai Lime & Garlic Steamed Fish


  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and cut in half
  • 2 White fish fillets, approx. 200gms each (e.g. Barramundi, Snapper, Cod, Halibut)
  • 2-3 lime slices, to garnish
  • Chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
  • 1 red chili, finely sliced, to garnish
  • Sea salt
  • Steamed rice, to serve
  • Aluminum foil, for preparation

Ingredients for Spicy Lime & Garlic Sauce

  • 4 birds’ eye chilies, roughly chopped
  • 2 coriander roots, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup chicken or fish stock
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. For the spicy lime and garlic sauce, use a mortar and pestle to pound the chilies, coriander roots, garlic and salt to a rough paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl, add the chicken or fish stock, lime juice and sugar and mix well.
  2. Place the lemongrass on a plate large enough to fit the fish fillet but small enough to fit into your wok or a large deep frying pan with a lid. Place the fish on top of the lemongrass stalks and season the fish with salt and keep plate aside.
  3. Now take a wok or frying pan and fill ¼ of it with water and bring to a simmer. Make a trivet or stand out of aluminum foil by scrunching it up into a rough cylinder and coiling it around into a circle. Use tongs to place the foil trivet into the simmering water. Place the plate of fish on top of the foil and push down to secure (the water level should be below the plate). Cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and pour the spicy lime and garlic sauce over the fish. Replace the lid and steam for another 6-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  4. Carefully remove the plate of fish from the pan. Garnish with lime slices, coriander and red chili slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Olive Garden salad


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed 
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup) 
  • 2 packaged 5oz. American salad mix 
  • 3/4 cup pitted black olives 
  • 3/4 cup pickled pepperoncini 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 packaged 4.5oz, large seasoned croutons


  1. Prepare dressing by adding olive oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan in a food processor, and process until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. Take a large bowl and add the salad mix, olives, pepperoncini, onion, tomatoes, and croutons. Drizzle the salad with dressing and toss well. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Roast Chicken Breasts with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, and Paprika


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (Sometimes labeled Pimentón Dulce or Pimentón de La Vera Dulce in store packaging)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder/ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper/red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 chicken breast halves with bones
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) 15oz., drained
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes 12 oz.
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Set the over to preheat at 450°.
  2. Take a medium bowl and mix the olive oil, garlic cloves, smoke paprika, ground cumin and red pepper flakes.
  3. Now, place the chicken breasts on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush 2 tablespoons of the spiced oil mixture over the chicken.
  4. Add tomatoes, beans and ½ cup cilantro to the remaining oil mixture and toss to coat the veggies well. Pour the veggies mixture around the chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the preparation.
  5. Place chicken into the pre-heated overn and roast chicken until it is cooked through (about 20 minutes or until well done)
  6. Remove chicken from oven and garnish with ½ cup cilantro. Serve with yogurt sauce on the side.
  7. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon bean mixture over. Serve with yogurt.

Grilled Sea Bass with Tropical Salsa


  • 1 cup 1/4-inch cubed pieces pineapple
  • 3/4 cup 1/4-inch cubed pieces mango
  • 2/3 cup 1/4-inch chopped red bell pepper (red capsicum)
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced tomato
  • 1/3 cup 1/4-inch pieces chopped cucumber
  • 1/3 cup 1/4-inch pieces red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, seeded jalapeño chili
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 6 6oz. sea bass fillets
  • Olive oil


  1. In a medium bowl add the first 10 ingredients together and toss to mix. Season the salsa with salt (as per taste). Chill the salsa to blend flavors well, from 1-4 hours (tossing occasionally).
  2. Prepare a barbecue on medium-high heat.
  3. Place fish on gril and brush with oil, salt and pepper. Grill chicken until just opaque in the center, aprroximately 5-7 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer to plate and garnish with salsa to serve.